AIP Digital Archive
A class of drift instabilities in one-dimensional current-sheet configuration, i.e., classical Harris equilibrium, with frequency ranging from low ion–cyclotron to intermediate lower-hybrid frequencies, are investigated with an emphasis placed on perturbations propagating along the direction of cross-field current flow. Nonlocal two-fluid stability analysis is carried out, and a class of unstable modes with multiple eigenstates, similar to that of the familiar quantum mechanical potential-well problem, are found by numerical means. It is found that the most unstable modes correspond to quasi-electrostatic, short-wavelength perturbations in the lower-hybrid frequency range, with wave functions localized at the edge of the current sheet where the density gradient is maximum. It is also found that there exist quasi-electromagnetic modes located near the center of the current sheet where the current density is maximum, with both kink- and sausage-type polarizations. These modes are low-frequency, long-wavelength perturbations. It turns out that the current-driven modes are low-order eigensolutions while the lower-hybrid-type modes are higher-order states, and there are intermediate solutions between the two extreme cases. Attempts are made to interpret the available simulation results in light of the present eigenmode analysis. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.
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